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(Analysis) The Shangri-La Dialogue 2016 and The South China Sea

2016-06-07 08:26:09       source:Eurasia Review

By Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim


June 6, 2016


"In his address to the 2016 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter outlined the US concept of a principled security network in the Asia-Pacific. This network is emergent from existing 'bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral' alliances in the region, and allows all interested parties, regardless of their 'capability, budget, or experience,' to share in the security burden.


The US sees itself as positioned at the heart of this multi-layered Asia-Pacific security network. Secretary Carter highlighted the US’ bilateral alliances with Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, India, and Vietnam; trilateral arrangements with Japan and South Korea, Japan and Australia, Japan and India, and Thailand and Laos; and finally the multilateral ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus. Secretary Carter also highlighted alliances formed between the US' 'like-minded partners' in the region who share the US' 'vision of a principled regional order,' including bilateral arrangements between Japan and Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines, and India and Vietnam; and trilateral arrangements between Japan, Australia, and India, and between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In the US' view, while China has been included in US-led regional activities like the upcoming Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, the US sees China’s activities, especially in the South China Sea, as leading it towards raising a 'Great Wall of self-isolation' from the other countries of the Asia-Pacific."


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